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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Calling HMO Landlords in Reading: Separate Council Tax Banding Looming?

    Jeremy Ashworth and Matt Siddell flagged up the below issue possibly looming on the Reading Council HMO horizon.

    “READING COUNCIL TAX CHANGES
    There's a serious threat of Reading Borough Council increasing council tax for HMOs.
    This could wipe out £5,000 - £7,000 pa of profits for a 6 bed HMO. Please pm your email address so I can include you in discussions whilst we tackle this issue.”

    The HMO Facebook Group thread is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/housesof...358710381/

    I think the idea is for Reading HMO landlords to get together to push back against any efforts to push for separate banding of ensuite rooms in particular.

    If you’re not in the HMO Facebook Group please feel free to send me your e-mail address and I’ll forward it on to Jeremy and Matt.

    Separate banding has already been brought in for a number of areas in the country -- I imagine there are some threads already on Property Tribes about the issue in general, although I couldn't find any after a quick search just now.

    Thanks & kind regards,

    Guy
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    Guy Brown
    Blue Infinity Property Group
    M 07791-661491 | T 0118 3360366 | E guy@blueinfinityproperty.com<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* http://www.blueinfinityproperty.com

    * New build residential developments and flat conversions in the Home Counties
    * High end HMOs in Reading and Bracknell

    I've made Kate Faulkner aware of this discussion. I met with Kate at the NALS conference earlier this year and mentioned this potential threat to all HMO landlords.
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    Sandra Savage-Fisher


    This issue has been going on for sometime. The government commented on it in their cross party inquiry into the private rented sector for the under 35s and suggested a change in the rules: https://rla.org.uk/policyhub/wp-content/..._Oct14.pdf
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    Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor. Experienced in estate management, residential investments, planning and development and rights for utility apparatus. All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.

    Any updates on this or advice on where we can get more information?
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    Hi David,

    As per above, the HMO Facebook group has some related postings on separate council tax banding for HMOs.

    I found some related PT threads as follows:
    https://www.propertytribes.com/hmo-ensuit...13083.html
    https://www.propertytribes.com/council-ta...11382.html
    https://www.propertytribes.com/hmo-counci...-5678.html

    Best,

    Guy
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    Guy Brown
    Blue Infinity Property Group
    M 07791-661491 | T 0118 3360366 | E guy@blueinfinityproperty.com<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* http://www.blueinfinityproperty.com

    * New build residential developments and flat conversions in the Home Counties
    * High end HMOs in Reading and Bracknell

    Thanks for that information guy, I have joined the Facebook group. Do you have any idea when Reading council will take a decision on this matter?
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    I think they have already hit some HMO landlords with separate banding where they have ensuites. One piece of advice I heard was to stay off the council's radar...for instance if you request empty property council tax exemption (can only get 1 month I think now anyway in Reading) that may flag you up for a valuation inspection...so don't apply for exemption. Perhaps it will also be triggered by HMO license and HMO planning applications.

    If I hear of anything definitive coming out on Reading (also in terms of success or not in pushing back) I'll report back.

    Best,

    Guy
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    Guy Brown
    Blue Infinity Property Group
    M 07791-661491 | T 0118 3360366 | E guy@blueinfinityproperty.com<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* http://www.blueinfinityproperty.com

    * New build residential developments and flat conversions in the Home Counties
    * High end HMOs in Reading and Bracknell

    Thanks for the advice Guy. From what you have heard do you know if they have just seperately banded the En suite room(s) or if they have then individually banded all the rooms if you have 1 or 2 En suites? Has anyone else experienced this?
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    So now we have councils trying to destroy the HMO business model
    Those LL that upgraded their properties to include en-suite bathrooms are to be penalised!!!!
    Absolutely bonkers
    So LL will be forced to rip out the en-suite bathrooms and replace with perhaps 2 larger bathrooms degrading the amenity of the property for their tenants
    LL are being encouraged to improve their properties and now we have a stupid council come along and penalise LL for doing so!!!!!!
    You really couldn't make it up!!!!
    Some LL will just convert their HMO to two flats forcing out tenants
    HMO are needed more than ever and yet stupid councils are effectively making them unviable if improvements have been carried out for the benefit of tenants
    Councils are like parking attendants trying to charge you for anything they can get away with
    Glad I am not a HMO LL anywhere!!!!!
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